The Budget was approved in Parliament yesterday after being debated for several days. More work had to be done until the Budget approved was to be implemented.
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced that the 2011 Budget after being considered at length during the Committee Stage discussions was adopted with amendments. 156 votes were cast in favour. Only 40 members voted against the Budget. He said it had been approved with a majority of 116 votes.
The President, as Finance Minister, presented the Budget in Parliament on the 22nd of last month. Votes of the Ministries were approved with amendments and heated arguments from the Government as well as the Opposition groups during the Committee Stage discussions. Several amendments were included after taking into consideration various proposals submitted during the debate. It was the House leader Nimal Siripala de Silva who presented these amendments.
Sources emanating from Parliament have revealed that Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had placed his signature on the Budget which was approved with a high majority. The next stage will be its direction to the person who drafts the law. The usual tradition in this process is to inquire into the legality of the amendments. Thereafter, it will be again directed to the Speaker. The next process will be the submission of the approved Budget proposals to the Finance Ministry with the signature of the Speaker. Allocations will thereafter be made to the related projects. Funds will be released step by step after considering the progress of the projects. The people will thereafter be able to reap the benefits of the Budget.